Directors' report

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Pim Berger

“Value. Delivered.” – These two concepts were central to our company’s development in the past year, and together they form the theme that runs through this report. At Schuberg Philis, we are seeing a considerable rise in the value of our contribution to our customers’ business, while the reliability of our execution remains an essential and distinctive key to our success. This is especially true on so-called “run and change” projects, in which we implement changes with no interruption to a customer’s operations. The increasing importance of the role we play for our customers shows us that we’re on the right track – but also that we still have much to gain in the future.

Value in a cost-based world

2019 was a challenging year for many of our customers. They had to operate in international markets that were marked by increasing uncertainty in many aspects of their business. The volatility of trade relations, new sources of competition, fragmenting and transforming markets: all of these led many organizations to focus even more on cost control and efficiency. At the same time, the demand for reliable performance has only gone up, especially as security is becoming more important by the day: with every breach reported in the papers, the need to cover security risks grows. These two developments can lead to contradictory demands: on the one hand, we have to boost speed and help cut costs, while on the other hand, customers demand improved predictability and enhanced reliability. It is not surprising, then, that many of our customers are looking to find secure footing in their IT endeavors. And we are proud that they are finding that footing – more and more, and long-term – with us.

The changing value of our role

We’ve never been an IT-only company. Right from the start, we were fascinated by our customers’ commercial objectives: by the business questions behind the IT questions. Everything that exemplifies Schuberg Philis – like our culture with experts in the lead, and our DevOps approach – has always been geared towards reaching beyond the customer’s specific assignment, into the heart of the matter. A change that we continued to see in 2019 is that customers give us room (and increasingly also ask us explicitly) to engage with their strategic business objectives. We call ourselves an “IT business partner,” and we see that the business part of that proposition is gradually becoming more important, with the technological aspects taking on a more supporting and enabling innovation role.

The changing value of technology

We could describe the stage of development that many organizations are in as “technological obesity.” They have an excess of technology and data at their disposal, but are not necessarily capable of harnessing this as useful energy for the organization itself. Even so, those same organizations clearly crave optimization and renewal. This is another area where we can show our added value by thinking beyond the primary support questions: we can combine and replace existing systems with new technologies to help customers realize more value.

The value of fast, small and scalable

In 2018 we introduced Schuberg Philis Labs; in 2019 we started reaping the rewards of our efforts. In an experimental set-up, on top of the customer’s processes, we developed an innovative approach that let us achieve tangible business results faster and with less risk. The HEINEKEN case is a clear example of this. We started very small (literally with a scale model) and followed a “fail faster, learn faster” approach, which led us to a first proof of value. In small steps and working side by side with the customer, we then identified the direction in which to develop our skills. This let us easily realign our routing during the process, without encountering expensive or complicated consequences. In this way, the risk for the customer was always limited to a single next step – and once we could scale up the returns, they grew exponentially.

We never provide recommendations or create designs without being able to execute them start-to-finish.

The long-term value of execution

Our most important objective remains our customers’ satisfaction, because this is where we find true value for the future of our company. We are pleased that in the independent GIARTE customer satisfaction study for 2019, we were the uncontested number one in all categories. We succeeded in achieving this score by upholding and implementing the idea that we do everything we do with 100% dedication – no exceptions. What distinguishes us in this respect is that we have always offered the execution in-house; as a result, we never provide recommendations or create designs without being able to execute them start-to-finish. Only if we are able to maintain that level of delivery can we expect to continue our current level of customer satisfaction.

The value of our culture

Here at Schuberg Philis, we share something that transcends the term “corporate culture.” We all feel that our work needs to matter, and that it matters how we do our work (and with whom). We share the belief that life is too short to do things that are meaningless, or to do them superficially, or without having fun in the process. Our relations with each other, but also with customers and partners, go beyond a day’s work and business interactions. This is something that we must value greatly. It is a constellation of shared values in which we feel free to experiment, to think outside of the box, to amaze each other by coming up with something completely unexpected.

All of this is essentially important, because without it our innovative drive would wither. Even so, we should never become complacent about our culture. We should cherish who we are, but also be prepared to change. We have to admit new influences into our processes: fresh perspectives and insights that will help us to make the move towards business consultancy even more forcefully. We will have to bring in fresh talent with new profiles, allowing us to operate even more in a business-oriented way. Our organization became more diverse in 2019: we saw the number of women in our team grow considerably, in particular. We will continue to see diversity increase, especially in terms of capabilities. We foresee that in 2020, finding the right new talent will again be a significant point of attention; not only because the labor market continues to be tight, but also because we will continue to pursue our ambitious requirements for new colleagues’ ability to engage in lifelong learning.

Growth, margins and value

In 2019, Schuberg Philis delivered significant revenue growth. Turnover in 2019 was € 78.4 mln, 15% higher than in 2018 (€ 68.3 mln). Contracted revenues remained high at €122 mln. Net profit in 2019 was € 7.0 mln (9% of turnover, versus 5% in 2018). The net profit was higher than in previous years, mainly due to a higher increase in turnover than in costs.

To facilitate growth of the company three new entities were founded. The entities, Schuberg Philis Asset Management International BV, Schuberg Philis Management BV and Schuberg Philis US LLC support our services in the United States. These companies are added to the already existing structure of Schuberg Philis BV and Schuberg Philis Group BV.

Our consolidated cash position at year‑end is € 7.8 mln (2018: € 10.1 mln).The reduction of cash, because of an extra dividend payout in 2019, is largely offset by strong cash generation from Schuberg’s operations. Despite the extra dividend payout, the solvency remains strong at 39% in 2019 (2018: 58%). The company does not use secondary financial instruments to cover credit‑, cash flow‑, currency‑ or interest rate risks.

Risks

In a rapidly changing business and IT environment, not being able to invest in innovation and talented people would be the greatest risk, for which risk our risk appetite is low because it would be detrimental for our long‑term success, growth and performance. The company considers the current capital structure as conservative, what is the basis for a financially sound company. The current financial structure enables us to invest in highly qualified and talented colleagues as well as sustainable innovation for our customers. As mitigating factor for these risks the company stepped into a credit facility to cover any extra needs for cash. As per end of year the credit facility is not called upon.

Corona

During the months February and March 2020 it became apparent that the Corona‑virus has and will have significant impact on society at large. Our primary concern is for the health of all of us. We have taken several measures to protect the health of our colleagues, and to safeguard the continuity of our services to our clients. At this point in time it is impossible to say what the exact consequences of the ongoing Corona‑crisis will be for Schuberg Philis, for its clients, and for society. We will do our utmost to continue to make a lasting difference for our clients, and we are convinced that together we can overcome this crisis.
 

Profit and loss Statement (in € 1,000s)

2019

Total revenues

78.377

Net Profit

6.992

Balance sheet (in € 1,000s)

31-12-2019

Tangible Fixed Assets

7.361

Working Capital (incl. cash)

5.330

Cash

7.790

Debt

0

Equity

12.142

Ratios

Calculated as

31-12-2019

Net Profit Margin

Net Profit/ Net Revenue

9%

Current Ratio

Current Assets/ Current Liabilities

1.29

Solvency

Total Equity/ Total Liabilities and Equity

39%

 

Contracted Revenue

Calculated as

31-12-2019

Contracted Future Revenue

n/a

121.517


 

  • Pim Berger

    Founder

    Pim Berger

    01/01